A New York mother is defending her decision to let her 8-year-old son dress in drag and dance in the city’s gay pride parade following the Supreme Court’s ruling on gay marriage.
A photograph of the boy in mid-dance surfaced on the Internet after Sunday’s event, causing some social media users to question the mother’s choice — not to mention her sanity.
The mother, Wendylou Napoles, is not backing down from her style of parenting, saying it’s perfectly acceptable to encourage her pre-puberty child to explore his “gender fluid” identity.
“He has always been very gender fluid when it came to toys and his development,” she said, according to the blog ScaryMommy.com. “He preferred fashion dolls to action figures. I looked at both in the store and figured that the action figure was as much a doll as a Barbie, so if he wanted the one marketed to girls that was fine with me.”
G.I. Joe is not the same thing as a Barbie.
Aside from indulging his curiosity about dolls, Napoles says she has kept him involved in the gay community since she took him to his first gay pride parade when he was just six years old.
“He loves drag queens and thinks that it is fantastic that boys can play dress up and become beautiful girls, even after they grow up,” she said.
A 6-year-old was impressed with bright flamboyant colors and overdone costume jewelry? Shocking.
Napoles added that he is “starting to get crushes on boys,” but “that is pretty much the extent of what he knows about sexuality.”
The entertainment website NewNowNext posted a picture of the boy to its Facebook page, and received an influx of comments from gay advocates heaping praise on Napoles for encouraging her son – who supposedly knows nothing about sex – to explore his sexuality.
One Facebook user said the photo f the boy in the street dressed, by his mother to look like a girl for the entertainment of strangers, “tells me something positive and encouraging for the future.”
“This was his Pride today,” Napoles said of Sunday’s event. “He felt it. He loved it. He was it. These children will be our future. Embrace who they are. All they are asking for is the same love, respect, and acceptance of themselves as any child would.”
And a tiara.